Wednesday, July 10, 2019

When Your Adult Child is Called to Do a Dangerous Job

This week, many of us are asking ourselves, "What do we do when our adult child is called to do a dangerous job?"  It has been a hard week for my little hometown community.  One of our county deputies lost his life in the line of duty Sunday night.  He was a young husband and father of 2 boys.  The youngest was only a few months old.  My son is also a deputy in our county.  He had served with this fallen hero before his deployment.  When I first heard the news, my heart sank.  The shift that responded to the call regarding the stolen vehicle was my son's shift.  If my son had been here, the fallen deputy could have been him.

When Your Adult Child is Called to Do a Dangerous Job

My heart is broken for the fallen deputy's family.  His parents, his wife, and his children are devastated.  His friends and co-workers are deeply hurting.  I didn't personally know this young deputy but since my son is also a deputy who served with him and knew him, my heart hurts with my community.  Situations like this are common down the road in Atlanta, but very rare up here in the much quieter countryside.  Our deputies frequent neighborhoods and local businesses, checking on those of us who live and work here.  They are known by those whom they serve.  When tragedy strikes, we all hurt.  For those of us who have loved ones in dangerous jobs, these situations cause ugly fears to surface, fears we had battled and put away . . . until something like this happens.  Now the fear of losing our own loved ones is raw and heavy on our hearts and minds again.  We must learn to lay down the fear and possibilities that haunt us at the feet of Jesus once again.  How do we honor God's calling on the lives of our children when our adult children are called to do dangerous jobs?

When Your Adult Child is Called to Do a Dangerous Job

Often someone will ask me, "How do you do it? How do you sleep at night? How do you get up every day knowing that you could be the mother of a fallen deputy or Soldier before the day's end?

My Answer: I don't.

I don't do it on my own strength, but by the One who gives me strength. I absolutely cannot honor God's calling on the lives of my children or His calling on me to mother them without the knowledge of the truth that Jesus has them and He has me.

When Your Adult Child is Called to Do a Dangerous Job

When my adult child was called to do a dangerous job, I had to learn to give him over to the Lord.  Oh, I still worry about him.  I would be lying if I didn't admit it.  He's still my baby boy.  He'll always be my baby boy, but he is also a man, a man called by God to serve in a dangerous job.  I didn't want him to go into police work or the Army National Guard.  I wanted him to work in a nice safe office somewhere.  I wanted him to work in a safe place so that I could sleep soundly at night and not worry about his safety.  God had a different plan for him.

My son chose to go into police work AND the Army National Guard.  I had two choices.  I could beg and cry and beg some more for my son to change his mind or I could accept his decisions as an adult and support him.

I can't remember where I read it.  I've tried to find the source but have not been successful.  Somewhere in a book or perhaps a Bible study book, I read wise words.
Don't hold onto your children so tightly that God can't use them. - Unknown
I read those words and immediately felt convicted.  Was I holding on too tight?  Was I holding onto my children so tightly that God couldn't use them?

I believed I was.

Of course I know I'm not powerful enough to stop God's plan for my children, but the idea is that He wants us to trust Him with our children.  They are His before they are ours, after all.

My husband and I had raised our children in a home where God was honored, the Bible was read, and skipping church was never an option.  They had all been rooted and grounded in a foundation of faith that we hoped would grow them closer to the Lord as they grew up and grew older on this earth.  Now, God was guiding them into the adult purposes for which He had created them.

Who was I to stand in the way?  I had to let go.

The Purpose Driven Life
This item is available here.

This most recent incident with our fallen deputy has naturally caused me to want to grip onto my children again and hold on for dear life.  I spoke with my son about the death of his friend.  My heart grieved with him from the other side of the world.  I don't know what God has planned for my son's future, but whatever it is, as long as he walks with the Lord, I'll support him.

I thought about what the future might hold for our family.  Only God knows.  I thought about my two daughters who have chosen careers in psychology.  One of them will specialize in clinical mental illness.  The other one will be a Christian family counselor.  Those sound like fairly safe jobs, right?

But none of us are guaranteed another day.  My son could be injured or killed doing either of his two jobs.  My daughters could just as easily go home to Heaven on their way to work tomorrow morning.  It's a terrible thought, but a true statement.  All three of my children could wake up tomorrow without their mother.  We don't know what the next hour holds, let alone another day or another year.

What I do know for certain is that God knows. What I do know is that He knows my children.  He knew them before they were born.  They were fearfully and wonderfully made.  Their frames were not hidden from Him when they were made in secret.  They were skillfully wrought.  They were seen by God before they were fully formed and all the days that were ordained for them were written in His book.
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. - Psalm 139:13-16
Did you read that?  Go back and read every word again knowing it was written for my children and for yours.

When your adult child is called to do a dangerous job, you are also called.  You were chosen to be your child's mother or father.  You were called to parent your child when he or she was born.  You were called to parent your child when he or she was a child, a teenager, and a young adult.  Now you are called to be the mother or father of an adult child who is called to do a dangerous job.

Whether your adult child is called to join the military, the police force, or is sent to a hostile foreign mission field, you are still called to be his or her mother or father. Whether your adult child is called to teach, become an electrician, a builder, a lawyer, or a doctor, you are still called to be his or her mother or father. 

Now that you have accepted your calling as the parent of an adult child, what's next?  

Pray.  Pray a lot.

Spend time in God's Word.  The more intimately you know God, the more likely you are to respond positively to the news that your child has chosen a dangerous job. 


If you don't have your Bible with you when you are on the go, download the Bible Gateway App.  Take the Bible with you whereever you go.

Pray scripture based prayers for your adult child.

50 Prayers to Pray for Your Adult Child

1.  Pray for God to give your adult child a spirit of wisdom and revelation in knowing Him.
2.  Pray that the eyes of his or her heart will be enlightened.
3.  Pray that he or she will know what is the hope of His calling on his or her life,  (4) the riches of the glory of His inheritance, (5) the surpassing greatness of His power toward those who believe in Him according to the working of the strength of His might.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. - Ephesians 1:17-20
6.  Pray for your adult child to watch over his or her heart.
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life. - Proverbs 4:23
7.  Pray for your son or daughter to always remember that no matter how far they might fall, they can't fall so far away that God can't reach them or hear them.
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short
That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull
That it cannot hear. - Isaiah 59:1
Pray Romans 12, the whole chapter over your son or daughter, that he or she will:

8.  present his or her body as a living and holy sacrifice.
9.  not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of his or her mind.
10.  prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect.
11.  not think more highly of himself or herself than he or she ought to think.
12.  think so as to have sound judgement.
13.  exercise his or her gifts according to God's purposes in his or her life.
14.  love without hypocrisy.
15.  abhor what is evil.
16.  cling to what is good.
17.  be devoted to those around them in brotherly love.
18.  honor others.
19.  be diligent.
20.  be fervent in spirit.
21.  serve the Lord.
22.  rejoice in hope.
23.  persevere in tribulation.
24.  devoted to prayer.
25.  contribute to the needs of others.
26.  practice hospitality.
27.  bless those who persecute him or her.
28.  rejoice with those who rejoice.
29.  weep with those who weep.
30.  not be haughty.
31.  not pay back evil for evil.
32.  respect what is right.
33.  be at peace with others.
34.  not take his or her own revenge.
35.  learn to feed his or her hungry enemies.
36.  give drink to the thirsty.
37.  not be overcome with evil.
38.  overcome evil with good.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. - Romans 12
39.  Pray for your son or daughter to have peace in Jesus, knowing that He has overcome the world.
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. - John 16:33
40.   Pray for your adult child to be sincere and blameless, living a life of integrity.
So that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ. - Philippians 1:10
41.  Pray for the fruits of the Spirit to be evident in your son or daughter's life. 
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23
Pray that your son or daughter will:

42.  draw near to God with a sincere heart, full of assurance of faith.
43.  have a clean heart, free from an evil conscience.
44.  have a clean body washed with water. (Yes!  This is in the Bible!)
45.  hold fast to the confession of his or her hope.
46.  will not waver.
47.  remember that God is faithful.
48.  stimulate others to love and good deeds.
49.  not forsake the assembling together. (In other words, pray that he or she will always go to church.)
50.  encourage others. 
Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. - Hebrews 10:22-25
When Your Adult Child is Called to Do a Dangerous Job

What prayers do you pray for your adult children?  What scriptures and prayers do you recommend adding to this list?  Let us know in the comments below.

Image Credits:
Read more posts in the faith and family category here.

Read more posts about living through deployment here.

This post is linked up at InstaEncourage & Friends Wednesdays.  Hop on over and check out all the great posts!
This post is also linked up at Faith and Friends Friday Link Up.


  1. Thank you so much for this perspective. My son does some work offshore and I am prone to worry about him every time he leaves. You've given me some good things to focus on.

    1. Christa, parenting adults is so hard sometimes, isn't it? I'm glad this post have given you some encouragement for the days when your son works offshore.

  2. Thank you, Tina. Great post! This is such a difficult time to be in public service. I love the ways to pray over your child. So important we do this, even after they are grown. Especially after they are grown!


    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    1. Yes Patsy, it is such a difficult time. Someone recently reminded me that there have always been difficult times and nothing we are experiencing today is a surprise to God. It does seem much worse to us when our children are right in the middle of it though. Prayer has certainly sustained me through this time. It is comforting when I get a text message or a phone call from someone to tell me that they prayed for my son that day. Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to linking up at InstaEncouragements in the future. :)

  3. We also have friends and relatives in the police force. We give them continually to the Lord and know their families do too. There is no safer place to be than in God's will. My oldest child works with inner city families. He also is in many dangerous places. How important to hold these in prayer continually. Thanks for sharing.

    1. What would we do without prayer? It has certainly been helpful to me through these months. It has brought me peace in the middle of the night numerous times. Thanks for stopping by.


Add to the conversation! I want to hear from you. :)

Have you ordered my book yet?

Have you ordered my book yet?
Start reading!

Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway